Małgorzata Wągrowska-Danilewicz, Marian Danilewicz
Med Sci Monit 1996; 2(5): CR593-598
Glomerulonephritis was long considered a rare disease in the elderly. However, recently a few series of biopsy findings have been reported in elderly patients. The authors of this study analysed 93 kidney specimens from patients over 50 years of age during a 20-years period from 1975 to 1995. The aim of the study was to evaluate the incidence of primary glomerulonephritis, the histological type of the glomerulopathy and clinical presentation of the disease in adults over 50 years of age as well as to compare the clinical and morphological findings in patients aged 50-60 years with those observed after age 60. Seventy-three renal percutaneous biopsies from patients between 50-60 years of age (4.7% of all biopsies performed in adults) constituted group I and 20 renal kidney specimens from patients over 60 years of age (1.3% of all biopsies in adults) constituted group II. Primary glomerulonephritis was the most common kidney disease in both investigated groups. The nephrotic syndrome occurred in 37% patients in group I and renal failure in 20.5% patients in this group. Among subjects over 60 years of age (group II) the nephrotic syndrome was noted in 55% of cases and renal failure in about half of the patients. The most common histological finding in group I was mesangial proliferative glomerulonephritis, whereas mesangiocapillary glomerulonephritis predominated in group II. The most frequent cause of the nephrotic syndrome in group I was mesangial proliferative glomerulonephritis and in patients over 60 years of age (group II) mesangial proliferative glomerulonephritis, membranous glomerulonephritis and mesangiocapillary glomerulonephritis were equally responsible. The present study revealed an increasing number of biopsies performed in patients aged over 50 years. However, the true incidence of glomerulopathies in the elderly is difficult to evaluate because older patients are less often submitted to diagnostic procedures such as renal biopsy. Data from the literature suggest that in comparison with other countries, in Poland the number of renal biopsies performed in patients after age 50 is low.
Keywords: Renal biopsy, elderly, Glomerulonephritis